A prominent American typographic designer working across many graphic fields including posters, advertising, signage, postage stamp, typeface, and editorial design, Lubalin was recognized as an innovator and iconoclast, particularly with the advent of phototypesetting in the 1960s. This allowed him considerable licence to play with words, images, and scale on the page. After studying at the Cooper Union in New York (where the Lubalin Archive is now held) from which he graduated in 1939, he worked as a freelance graphic designer and typographer before taking on the role of art director for a number of agencies including Sudler & Hennessey (from 1945). In 1964 he established his own consultancy, Herb Lubalin Inc. (from 1981, with Seymour Chwast and Alan Peckolick, becoming Pushpin, Lubalin, Peckolick Associates Inc.). In 1970, together with Aaron Burns and Ed Rondaler, he founded the International Typeface Corporation, with the aim of licensing original typefaces as a means of ensuring royalties for their designers. His own typefaces included Avant‐garde Gothic (1970, with Tom Carnase), Lubalin Graph (1974), and Serif Gothic (1974, with Tony DiSpigna). For some years he had also played a key design role in a number of magazines including Eros (1962) and Avant Garde (1968) and in 1973 founded, designed, and edited the influential international typographic journal U&lc (the title representing a shorthand for ‘Upper and lower case typography’). His work was internationally recognized through his many designs for publication as well as numerous exhibitions and awards, including the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) medal in 1981.
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.